02/21/2006 1:00AM

NYRA seeks racing director


The New York Racing Association is looking to hire a director of racing to coordinate the racing programs at the association's three tracks and work with management and horsemen on long-term planning.

The director would report to NYRA's chief executive, Charles Hayward, serve as a conduit to backside workers and jockeys, and oversee the association's racing programs at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga, Hayward said Tuesday. The director would also work with NYRA officials on strategy to increase handle on NYRA races, Hayward said.

The position's description is similar to the role played at NYRA by Terry Meyocks, the association's former chief operating officer. Meyocks resigned late in 2003.

Last year, Hayward replaced NYRA's longtime secretary, Michael Lakow, with P.J. Campo. Hayward said Tuesday that the new position would not take any duties away from Campo, and would consolidate some duties that have been taken on by other NYRA managers after Meyocks's departure.

"I felt that we needed somebody that could work with people on the backside, that would talk with trainers and owners and jockeys," Hayward said. "We need someone who has management experience but also knows the backside."

Hayward cited problems that NYRA had last year after it implemented security barns at Belmont and Saratoga. Initially, the setup of the barns was criticized by some trainers, and NYRA had to hustle to institute changes that were acceptable to horsemen.

"If we had had this position in place when we put the security barns in, I'm sure we could have worked better with the horsemen to address their concerns," Hayward said.